The Ministry of Defence has given the go-ahead to acquire and induct the Made in India short range surface-to-air-missile defence system to protect its airspace from regional rivals China and Pakistan. India has withdrawn the request for air defence systems from all Global Tenders and selected its very own missile system.
By introducing the basic version of the Akash missile system, the country had saved precious forex reserves worth $5.3 billion. More orders are expected in the near future from the Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India’s Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik recently declared in the parliament that the 'Akash Prime' Missile was selected after withdrawing from the Global Tender.
Akash Prime is an advanced version of the home grown Akash SAM weapon system and is designed and developed by DRDO.
An Akash battery comprises a single Rajendra 3D passive electronically scanned array radar and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them.
The Prime version of the Akash SAM weapons system will have an upgraded seeker technology, considerably reduced weapons signature, 360 degree enemy engagement capability and the ability to operate under extremely high and low temperatures. The Prime system will be deployed in the Himalayan region to protect assets against both China and Pakistan.
The Made in India Akash Missile System has a 96 percent indigenous component The missile has a range of 25km radius, uses a high explosive, pre-fragmented warhead, can track and engage 64 targets simultaneously and has a large operational envelope, from a low altitude of 30 metres to a maximum of up to 20 km.
Initially during the early testing phase of the Akash SAM System, the IAF had not shown much interest in the basic version. The IAF was seeking a SAM system with a more advance seeker system which would have a sensor to track and target incoming missiles more accurately. DRDO finally came up with the Prime version and helped India save billions of hard earned US Dollars in weapons purchase from foreign countries.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Article written exclusively for www.DefenceNews.in